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Empowering Community Health: The “BNS Honorarium Ordinance”

To empower local community health initiatives, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Nueva Vizcaya convened for its 55th Regular Session on October 9, 2023 at the People’s Hall, Capitol Compound, Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya, to enact Ordinance No. 2023-237, known as the “BNS Honorarium Ordinance.” This groundbreaking legislation seeks to enhance the Barangay Nutrition Program and extend financial support in the form of an honorarium to all qualified Barangay Nutrition Scholars (BNS) across the province.

The session was presided over by Vice Governor Eufemia Ang Dacayo, and it was conducted in a transparent and inclusive manner, demonstrating the commitment of the local government to making impactful decisions for its constituents.

The policy outlined in Section 2 of the ordinance underscores the crucial role played by BNS in promoting proper nutrition and health within the community. This recognition aligns with Section 10 of Presidential Decree No. 1569, which designates the Provincial Governor as responsible for such programs throughout the province. The provincial government has thus pledged its commitment to fortify its support for these community health champions.

The primary purpose of the “BNS Honorarium Ordinance,” as described in Section 3, is to provide financial support to BNS within the jurisdiction of Nueva Vizcaya. This support serves as a strong incentive to motivate and further empower these community health warriors in their vital roles of promoting proper nutrition and health awareness among community members.

Section 5 outlines the practical aspect of the ordinance, establishing a monthly honorarium of Php500.00 for each qualified BNS, to be given on a quarterly basis. The Provincial Treasury will disburse these funds following an endorsement by the Provincial Nutrition Action Officer. Qualification includes the submission of monthly reports and documentation of activities to the Municipal Nutrition Action Officer and compliance with other requirements set by the Provincial Nutrition Council.

In Section 6, the ordinance emphasizes the importance of monitoring and evaluating the program’s implementation. The Provincial Nutrition Program Coordinator will be responsible for monitoring progress, identifying challenges, and suggesting solutions, all while providing regular reports to the provincial government. This ensures the transparency and effectiveness of the program.

Section 7 specifies that the funds required for implementing this ordinance will be derived from the annual budgets of the implementing entities while Section 8 entrusts the Provincial Nutrition Council, in coordination with the Provincial Treasury, with the formulation of guidelines for the implementation, disbursement, and monitoring of the honorarium.

Section 9 includes a separability clause, which ensures that if any provision of the ordinance is declared invalid or inconsistent with existing laws, the unaffected provisions will remain in full force while Section 10, the repealing clause, nullifies any previous ordinances or parts thereof that are inconsistent with the new provisions.

Finally, Section 11 declares that the “BNS Honorarium Ordinance” will take effect immediately upon approval and publication in accordance with the law. This ensures a swift implementation of the program.

The “BNS Honorarium Ordinance” reflects Nueva Vizcaya’s dedication to community health and its commitment to supporting the unsung heroes of proper nutrition and health— the Barangay Nutrition Scholars. This legislation serves as a model for recognizing and empowering local champions of community well-being. The efforts of Hon. Eunice Galima-Gambol, the author/sponsor, and the co-authors, are commendable steps toward a brighter, healthier future. #mvs

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